No more Grenfell

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The London Fire Brigade has implemented the recommendations directed by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. But the Tory government has so far failed to implement any of the recommendations from the Inquiry…reports Asian Lite News

Mayor Sadiq Khan published a report which shows that the vast majority of the recommendations directed at London Fire Brigade following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry have now been completed.

 The Mayor and London Fire Brigade accepted all the Grenfell Tower inquiry Phase 1 report’s recommendations published in October 2019, and Sadiq has worked closely with the Brigade to ensure substantial progress has been made and published monthly updates.

 The Brigade has now completed 26 out of the 29 recommendations directed specifically at London Fire Brigade and other fire and rescue services, and is working to implement the remaining three recommendations as quickly as possible, and setting out clear timings for the delivery of the remaining recommendations.

 The significant changes the Brigade has made since the Grenfell Tower fire include introducing smoke hoods to aid in the rescue of people in smoke-filled environments, introducing 32m and 64m ladders to help tackle fires in high-rise buildings, rolling out an extensive programme of training in order to put in place changes for how the Brigade responds to high-rise fires, including when the ‘stay put’ guidance is no longer viable and has to be revoked, and a mass evacuation carried out. The London Fire Brigade’s progress has continued despite the impact of the pandemic on the Brigades ability to run in-person training needed to complete the recommendations.

 The Brigade and the Mayor are participating in Phase 2 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, which is examining wider issues, including how the building came to be in an unsafe condition. London Fire Brigade is already undertaking a range of improvement work that relates the issues raised during the second part of the inquiry, including improving how the Brigade gathers and shares information risk information about buildings, investing in upgraded communications equipment for use at incidents, and updating incident command procedures and training.

 The Mayor’s latest update report detailing the action taken comes as the Government has so far failed to complete any of the recommendations aimed at them from the first phase of the Inquiry. The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report included 12 recommendations aimed primarily at the Government – to date none of these have been completed, and the Government hasn’t provided a date for when they will be. These recommendations include vital changes to legislation and national guidelines on building regulations, including those that relate to fire safety.

 “The Grenfell Tower fire was an appalling tragedy and we will always remember the 72 people who lost their lives,” said the mayor. “We owe it to the people who died, their loved ones and those who survived to ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.

 “That is why, since the fire, I have been relentless in doing everything I can to ensure the recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry are implemented. The London Fire Brigade has made significant changes and demonstrated their commitment to putting in place the recommendations as swiftly as possible.

 “However, I am extremely concerned the Government has failed to complete a single recommendation from the first phase of the Inquiry. It is vital that the Government and the housing and building industries act now and do not wait for the Inquiry’s next report to take action on such an important issue. Without faster action, the Government is failing the Grenfell community, putting lives at risk and leaving residents feeling unsafe in their homes. The Government, housing and building industries must not wait to implement the wholesale reforms that are needed to fix a broken system.”

 “We accepted every recommendation made to us by Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and by the end of March we will have completed 26 out of the 29 recommendations directed specifically at London Fire Brigade and other fire and rescue services,” said London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe.

 “While there is some work still to do, I am pleased to say that we now have important new policies, practices, training, and equipment in place to help protect Londoners and firefighters. We owe it to the bereaved families, the survivors and the residents to learn lessons, transform our service, and improve. We also continue to have detailed discussions with community representatives about how we can improve our service and make it accessible to all.”

The Grenfell Tower phase 1 report was published on 30th October 2019. In total there were 29 recommendations aimed at the London Fire Brigade, 14 solely for the Brigade to address and 15 to address in conjunction with other organisations. The Brigade has now completed 23 out of the 29 recommendations directed specifically at London Fire Brigade and other fire and rescue services, a further three will be completed by the end of March, and the Brigade is working to implement the remaining three recommendations as swiftly as possible. Work is underway on the remaining three recommendations, which require longer-term projects in order to be implemented or are dependent on other partners at the national level.

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